Champions from all over America and Canada descended upon Charlotte, North Carolina for the annual NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banquet. State, Provincial and track champions, as well as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion were honored throughout the event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Matt Bowling was the star of the night as he formally received his national championship trophy after a thrilling three-way battle with SK Modified star Keith Rocco from Connecticut and Super Late Model driver Ty Majeski from Wisconsin.
“Fourteen,” said Bowling. “That’s the number of races we were planning on running this year. Obviously that plan changed.”
Bowling went on to score 14 wins in 49 races during 2016.
Majeski finished third in points behind Bowling and Rocco, scoring 14 wins in 25 starts, while Rocco also scored 14 wins in 45 starts.
Rocco’s speech was the highlight of the night, which has become a trend at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banquet.
Rocco started off by hanging his jacket over Bowling’s national championship trophy. Rocco quickly explained to the confused crowd what he was doing.
“In a few years, Matt, that’ll be nothing more than a coat hanger,” Rocco said as the ballroom erupted with laughter.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Crown Ballroom will host a banquet for the second straight night when the champions from around America and the world come out for the NASCAR Touring Series banquet. Champions from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, NASCAR Pintys Series and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will all be honored on Saturday night.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com